When doing a left join in SQL any filtering of the table after the join will turn it into an inner join. However there are some easy ways to do the filtering first.

Suppose you've got some tables related to a website. The pages table describes the different pages on the site.

page_id page_name
1 home
2 checkout
3 terms

Another pageviews describes the daily activity:

date page_id views
2020-08-27 1 100
2020-08-27 2 30
2020-08-28 1 150
2020-08-28 2 17
2020-08-28 3 2

We want to see the page views with the page name for all the pages on a certain date, even the ones with no views. One wrong attempt would be:

select page_name, coalesce(views, 0) as views
from pages
left join pageviews on pages.page_id = pageviews.page_id
where date = '2020-08-27'

The problem is that the where clause will filter out the terms page from the results.

page_name views
home 100
checkout 30

This could be fixed by moving the where clause into a subquery:

select page_name, coalesce(views, 0) as views
from pages
left join (
select *
from pageviews
where date = '2020-08-27'
) pv on pv.page_id = pages.page_id

This is verbose, but gives the correct result.

page_name views
home 100
checkout 30
terms 0

A very useful trick is to move the filter condition into the join condition.

select page_name, coalesce(views, 0) as views
from pages
left join pageviews
on pages.page_id = pageviews.page_id
and date = '2020-08-27'

Because the on effectively filters before the output this gives the same result as the subquery:

page_name views
home 100
checkout 30
terms 0

Adding filter conditions with on is useful for simplifying filters like this. It's also sometimes clearer to put filter conditions closer to the table they apply to rather than at the end in a where clause.